Sometimes it really is the little things that can make a difference, and for the parents of premature babies it is hoped that a new "Preemie Proud" sticker initiative will make a big difference.
As a feminist, I used to talk about the abilities and powers of women, our right to education, access to the professions and about equal pay. Of course, all these things still matter to me. But something I had neglected before I became a mother was the birthing room. I was too busy talking about the boardroom.
Our latest research suggests that traditional views on parenting are on the cusp of a fundamental shift, but it also reveals some deep-rooted concerns amongst the next generation of parents which need to be addressed.
Sleep when you can. Lie in, go to bed early, have naps. Sometimes spend the whole day in bed. Sleeping. And if you think "oh I better get up now!". Don't. Sleep. And then sleep some more.
Mothers or Mothers to be, would I be right in assuming you have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to your baby's nursery décor? Hundreds of pins of gorgeous luxurious nurseries? What's your favourite colour scheme? Pastels? Neutrals? Bold pinks or blues?
But, as well as all the helpful medical and lifestyle advice handed out to readers via the titular Emma, as far as her husband Nick is concerned, the main take-home message for new mums seems to be that their partner is bound to act like a total and utter berg for the duration of the pregnancy
There were many things I swore I would never do before I had a baby. Pretty much all of those ideals have long since fallen by the wayside, along with any last vestiges of sympathy for the physical and emotional comfort of the child free in public spaces.
In effect, you have two babies who are completely dependent. Needing to be fed, dressed, changed. Two babies in nappies, who nap, cry, whinge, whine, poop, need to be held and cuddled, soothed and settled. Who can't talk. communication is a guessing game.
Before I became a parent, I had certain ideas of what kind of a mother I wanted to be. Those ideas were fairly vague initially, but nonetheless I had a list as long as my arm of things that I knew I would NEVER do... and then I had kids.
When a new baby comes into the world it seems inconceivable that this little creature will one day be walking around in the world on his own, but it does happen, and sooner than we think, and there is lots we can do to help them develop and grow in the best way possible. A simple, good quality baby toy can make a wonderful gift
Watching yourself transform into Mother is life changing. You live and breathe motherhood and devote every waking hour to becoming the best mother you can be as you grow in love, understanding and compassion every day.
Carrying a baby provides this loving touch; a great sense of familiarity and normality for a newborn. Being able to hear the muffled thump of a heartbeat and the rhythm of regular breathing, gentle pressure from arms that means secure rest and peaceful sleep, a scent that means safety and nourishment all help to activate the parasympathetic system and create calm, which facilitates the building of bonds.